China likely to be world's No 2 movie market by 2015

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China's box office takings are likely to reach between 30 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) and 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) in 2015 to make it the world's second-largest movie market, an industry association said Wednesday.

The movie market in the world's second-largest economy has witnessed strong growth in recent years as Chinese increasingly enjoy the cinema. China will build another 1,500 cinema screens this year, raising the total to 6,000, the industry research center of the China Film Producers Association said in a statement at a forum held in Jiangyin City in east China's Jiangsu province.

The number of cinema screens in the nation is expected to double to 12,000 by the end of 2015, it added.

The Chinese box office hit 4.8 billion yuan ($726 million) in the first half of the year, up 86 percent from a year earlier, Tong Gang, director of the film bureau at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said in July. Tong forecast the 2010 box office to reach 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

Box office earnings surged to 6.2 billion yuan ($930 million) in 2009 from less than 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in 2003.

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